The Curragh Racecourse has been guaranteed a new drinks licence for its dining and drinks areas that will be a major feature of its €72m redevelopment of the home of flat racing in Ireland.
Curragh Racecourse Limited, the new company formed to head planning and fundraising for the construction of world class facilities at the Kildare race venue, now simply has to complete the redevelopment in accordance with planning permission to gain a full publicans licence.
Constance Cassidy, counsel for the company, told Judge Martina Baxter at Naas Circuit Licencing Court that the application constituted the largest and most ambitious licencing project to date in the State.
The Curragh’s new race stand, incorporating the bistro and restaurant, will overlook the 5,000-acre plains of Kildare and the racecourse which is home to Ireland’s five race classics, centre stage of which is the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
This major event for flat racing worldwide and a race that down through the years has been won by some of the greatest racehorses ever to run will be held at the Curragh in June 2018 and all redevelopment works are expected to be completed in late 2018 in time for the 2019 season.
Ms Cassidy, who appeared with barrister Vincent Nolan and Osbornes Solicitors, told the court the racing venue held three licences, one for horse racing and two pub licences attached to the existing bar facilities and the champagne bar.
She said these areas would be demolished and the licences transferred to the new bistro and restaurant which were expected to be in operation by March next year.
She said the planned newly constructed race stand would be completed by December 2018.
Curragh Racecourse chief executive Derek McGrath told the court the entire development of the Curragh facilities would cost in the order of €72m.
The project has had planning permission for almost 20 years and would soon reach fruition following new funding.
Granting a declaratory order for the future confirmation of a drinks licence for the bistro and restaurant, Judge Baxter congratulated the developers and wished the project every success.
During ongoing redevelopment the capacity for racegoers has been restricted to just over 6,000.
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